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Get answers about Nissan’s new Leaf

 Posted by on August 7, 2009
Aug 072009

From Green Right Now Reports

Nissan has opened a chat room to discuss it’s newly unveiled all-electric vehicle (EV), the Leaf, with potential customers.

The car company’s also publishing more pictures of the family sedan, due out in 2010 and revealed this past weekend in Japan.

Many of the questions, predictably, center on the infrastructure to support electric vehicles. For instance, how does an apartment-dweller recharge the thing? There’s not a great answer for that, just yet; apartment building owners will have to get on board and provide parking lot charging stations. Nissan replies that urbanites might find some help at public facilities.

Tech firms that make charging stations, such as the Silicon Valley-based Coulomb Technologies, are just now pushing out the equipment that will support electric cars, with stations sprinkled across the West Coast. Once again, driving electric for early adopters may prove easier in San Francisco (where Coulomb’s ChargePoint¬† stations are already on the street) than in Kansas.

The US Department of Energy is working to extend EV infrastructure, and just this week awarded a grant of nearly $100 million to the Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (eTec), a subsidiary of ECOtality, to install electric vehicle charging systems and deploy hundreds of Nissan EVs in Arizona , California , Oregon , Tennessee, and Washington.

Which brings us to the other question that turns up on the FAQ, and will likely linger: What about the Nissan’s 100-mile range? The answer, for now: “Our vision is to constantly improve our vehicles to meet our customers’ needs.”

The Nissan answerer behind the green curtain also notes: “98 percent of Americans don’t drive more than 100 miles a day.”